Updated June 2017

Nursing bras are essential for nursing moms, especially in the first year.

We polled our audience, checked reviews and studied top-sellers to bring you this “best of” nursing bra list.

 

Nursing Bra Fit

The fit of your nursing bra is extremely important and will probably change again over the course of your nursing career. Further, a poorly fitted nursing bra may put pressure on your milk ducts, which can cause inflammation and plugged ducts.

During pregnancy, your rib cage expands (usually 1-2 whole sizes) to accommodate your growing baby. Your breasts will be at their largest several days after birth when your milk comes in — and in the days that follow. Much to everyone’s amusement, even the smallest breasted women get to be Dolly Parton for a little while!

breast-views

Thus, women who were previously accustomed to going bra-less will be surprised at how much more support they now need. Also (very important!), you’ll need a bra to hold nursing pads in place. Nobody wants milk dribbling down her belly.

kim kardashian-leaking

Kim Kardashian leaking during a shoot. Happens to everyone!

Your breast size can even fluctuate throughout the day, with larger, fuller breasts in the morning and emptier, lighter breasts at bedtime.

After birth, your rib cage will shrink and, over time, your actual cup size will probably shrink back down as you lose weight and your milk production stabilizes. The shrinkage happens gradually over the first year and continues after your baby starts solids (or after you wean). For those nursing in the long run, your breasts should reach a steady state by the year 1 mark or so.

My girl

Nursing at 7 months

Over the course of the first year, you may also notice that your breasts…… umm…. let’s just say, they probably won’t be as perky as they once were. A real shame, I tell ya. The price of birthing babies, y’all.

Fitting Considerations

Because shopping probably won’t be the first thing on your agenda after giving birth, it’s recommended that you buy one or two nursing bras at the end of your pregnancy that fit your current [pregnant] rib cage.

Once you get the hang of nursing and your boobs have calmed down a bit, we suggest you buy at least three bras that fit your postpartum/nursing breast size.

Note that when you’re nursing, your bras will get waaaay dirtier than they did before. For one, you WILL get milk in/on your bra and it will start to smell. Also, you’re (probably) going to be wearing a bra around the clock, so they just get sweatier than normal.

To make bras last longer, wash them on cold/gentle and hang them to dry.

Two notes for fitting yourself:

1. Don’t fit yourself for a bra right when your milk comes in (it will be too big) and

2. Note that you may need to buy smaller bras later in the year if you’re nursing in the long-term.

There’s a good Nursing Bra Fitting Guide here from Bravado — all you need is a measuring tape and a non-padded bra.

Without further ado:

Best Nursing Bras

*See also Best Nursing Bras for plus-sized or larger busted bras

$ – Leading Lady Wireless Cotton ~ $39 (2-pack)

Two for the price of one – and with good ratings! These bras are wireless and feature a full inner sling.

*Comes in sizes: B-DDD and 34-44
*3 color options available

Leading Lady Wireless Cotton

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$ – Target: Medela Seamless Nursing Bra ~ $23

Have we mentioned how much we love Target maternity and nursing wear?! They’ve teamed up with Medela to bring you a really high quality nursing bra for a great price. This wireless bra features stretchy cups that adjust with your changing bust size. Also: great for holding nursing pads in place.

Stella Nursing Bra

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$ – Rumina Hands-Free Pumping and Nursing Bra ~ $28

Wear this hands-free pumping AND nursing bra all day under your clothes for discreet pumping [see also: Rumina Pumping Tank]. This bra is wireless but offers good support. Many moms have raved that this hands-free pumping bra actually works while maintaining good suction power. *Not recommended for DD+ sizes.

Rumina Pumping and Nursing Bra

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$$ – Kindred Bravely Marvella Bra ~ $39

I can’t tell you how many times I need a deeper plunge bra. Not only does this do the trick but it’s super comfortable with the t-back style straps, such good quality, has great support and so, so soft!

$$ – Belabumbum Lotus Nursing Bra ~ $44

Sometimes you want to feel less like a dairy cow and more like a lady. Belabumbum makes beautiful, comfortable bras and nursing wear. Their best selling nursing bra, the Lotus Bra, is wireless and adjusts with your ever-changing bust size.

*Comes in sizes: S-XL
*2 color options available

Get 10% off + free shipping with code LUCIESLIST at checkout!

Belabumbum Lotus Bra

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$$ – Bravado! Body Silk Seamless ~ $49

This is the highest rated all-around nursing bra on the market… and our favorite too! It’s super soft and very comfortable. The removable molded foam cups hide your nipples or nursing pads and make this bra essentially invisible under clothing. They last forever, I swear; I used it for nursing both of my girls. Love, love, love. It’s the best nursing bra, IMO.

*Comes in sizes: S-XXL
*10 color options available

Bravado Silk Seamless
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$$ – Belibea Pumping & Nursing Bra ~ $49

Another fabulous nursing/pumping combo, this bra comes with removable pads between the cup panels to offer support and shape. It’s perfect for back to work. **Not great for DD+

*Comes in sizes: S-XL
*2 color options available

Belibea

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$$$ – Cake Lingerie Seamless Cotton Candy Bra ~ $53

Getting into some higher end bras — the Cake Lingerie Cotton Candy bra was made for two things: comfort and support. The low T-back and double-layered side sling make this bra one of the more supportive wireless nursing bras on the market.

* Not ideal for c-section moms as you have to pull it on/off over your head like a sports bra. Otherwise, many moms have loved this bra during pregnancy as well.

Cake Lingerie Cotton Candy Bra

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$$$ – The Dairy Fairy Arden ~ $68

Another big mom-favorite is the Dairy Fairy Arden bra. This hands-free pumping and nursing bra can be worn all day long without having to undress to pump. It features two panels for support, where the top panel can be tightened when breasts are drained and loosened when engorged. Some say the 2nd set of clasps are too cumbersome (below the bust), but most are not bothered by it.

Is it worth double the price of the Rumina (listed above)? Maybe, depends on the look you’re going for…

*Comes in sizes: S-XXL
*6 color options available

Arden Dairy Fairy

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Large Bust and Plus Size

$$$ – Anita Microfiber Underwire Nursing Bra ~ $59

Anita makes the best nursing bra for larger busted and/or plus sized women with sizes going up to 44/i. Most love this bra, but some complain the material is too thin and showy.  *Check out their lace option too.

*Comes in sizes: C-I and 32-44
*4 color options available

Anita Microfiber Nursing Bra

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$$$ – Hot Milk Women’s Show-Off Nursing Bra ~ $60

For plus sized or larger-breasted women, this super cute bra is for maximum support without an underwire. With 6 rows of hooks & eyes, you’ll always have the perfect fit.

*Comes in sizes: D-H and 32-42
*2 color options available

Hot Milk Nursing Bra

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$$$ – Anita Underwire Nursing Bra ~ $64

For larger-busted women and/or those seeking an underwire bra, the favorite is the Anita Underwire Nursing Bra (a.k.a. the “5035”)

*Comes in sizes: C-J and 32-44
*4 color options available

See also the full-line of Anita Nursing bras

Anita Bra

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$$$ – Le Mystere Sexy Mama Nursing Bra ~ $66

The people who love this bra are completely gaga over it.

This nursing bra closely resembles a regular bra (both front and back). It has an underwire, which makes it very supportive. Also: it’s pretty. Two thumbs up for feeling like a human again.

*Comes in sizes: C-G and 32-40
*4 color options available

Le Mystere Sexy Mama

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That’s all she wrote. Happy nesting!

See also: